Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I can almost forget sometimes

That Apollo is in fact a Thoroughbred.  He's chill, sweet, and trustworthy, and up until recently, he's been easy to keep weight on.   (Well, except for the sensitive skin thing.  I had to buy new, all-herbal fly spray for His Delicateness.  He was starting the getting-hives cycle, even before the flies and bugs got bad.  He's now in his full fly gear, fly spray everywhere the fly sheet and mask don't cover, wearing a bonnet during rides, etc.)

But ... as summer has begun, I've been riding him more and doing more interesting/demanding things with him.  Jumping, trot sets, really working hard on our dressage, you know the drill.   And I suppose I've been exceedingly lucky so far in feeding him -- he's been doing great on hay and grass only.  But now that the grass is in, we haven't been feeding hay nearly as much, letting them eat the buffet.  Looks like grass only isn't enough for the poor guy: he's been dropping weight.  Like, yknow, a Thoroughbred.

I also dewormed him, just in case, and we'll have his teeth checked next time the vet is out.  Just in case.

Meanwhile, I got some beet pulp and rice bran, and he's getting plenty of both with some salt.  As soon as possible, I'm going to add Cool Calories and U-Gard (just in case, on the U-Gard; he can be girthy).   Maybe APF Pro, but right now I don't think he desperately needs it.  We'll see how he does on the beep/rice bran/CC/UG first.   I imagine he'll start picking up weight pretty quickly.

So the questions are:

* Cool Calories in bag form from D&B Supply OR in Smartpaks?
* U-Gard in pellet form OR in powder form?
* U-Gard in bucket form from D&B OR in Smartpaks?

As for the U-Gard ... I'm thinking that the powder might be the best bet because it's more adjustable in dose than the pellets.  The loading dose is 2 scoops a day for 28 days, whereas the maintenance dose is 1 scoop.

I'm annoyed that Blogger won't let me put in a table ... or at least not without more markup language than I feel like doing right now.  You're probably glad, though, because you won't be subjected to my spreadsheet calculations.  :)  I compared Smartpak loading and maintenance dose prices, prices per day, getting just one in Smartpaks, 8 lb bags vs 4 lb bags, etc.

The final calculation is that it'll be cheaper in the long run to buy an 8 lb bucket of U-Gard and an 8 lb bag of Cool Calories and do the scooping myself.  The question now becomes where to buy the products?  Valley Vet is usually pretty inexpensive for this stuff, but ... shipping price and speed comes into it.   I might be best off hitting up D&B or Legacy.

More research!  Whee!


  1. I hate waiting for a new suppliment so I tend to get them at the feed store- for the things I don't use all year long. I have my auto ship stuff from Smartpak and the things I use on occasion or seasonal- electrolytes and bug off- i buy at the freed store

    1. I think that's how I'm going to end up doing it. :) The prices at two local feed stores have the SprinklerBandit Seal of Budgetary Approval! Plus ... instant gratification. I likes it.

  2. The problem with smartpaks in your scenario is that the supplements themselves are too inexpensive to accrue free shipping. Making baggies or scooping yourself for one horse is really not that difficult. ;) It's a massive pain if you're doing it for 3 or 4, but 1 is fine.

    Have fun with the weight battle! I always think it's easier to manage than an overweight horse.

    1. Yep -- that's what my calculations ended at too. I had omitted this bit from the entry for sheer boring-ness, but since you bring it up: with SP, if I did the loading dose for U-Gard, it would get free shipping, but only for that one month. I could add something else, but really, I object to feeding my horse stuff he doesn't need just to get free shipping on packaging, basically. Plus, none of the other horses at the barn use SmartPaks, so I couldn't add my order to theirs or anything. We're kind of a DIY place, I think. *grin*

      So yeah. Buckets and baggies it is!

  3. Ah the skinny TB dilemma. I feel you there. Personally I always only change/add one thing at a time, and give it 2 to 3 months, so that you know if its working or not. If you add all those things at once, and he does gain weight, you wont know if its the dewormer, or the rice bran, or the cool calories, or the u-guard... which makes your life harder later when you may want to reduce one or all of those things. Something to think about. And I second SB's smartpak supp assessment.

  4. HAPPY gets all of that and more--- he's on 3= 3lb cans of safe choice daily, one 3lb can of beet pulp(pre-soaked measure)1 scoop Omeprazzole powder ( from the friendly local veterinarian), 2 scoops Bute, 2 1b scoops rice bran, and 6 scoops Cool Cals daily. in addition to all the alfalfa he can eat, along with an always full top load haybag full of prime grass hay for nibbling. He is ultra-fit right now, pretty sure he could complete a 25 mile endurance ride and not blow out a match.